ABA reports on technology use by lawyers

ABA reports on technology use by lawyers

The Legal Technology Resource Center of the ABA has released its 2017 survey of technology use in the legal profession.

Key findings include:

  • Over a third of firms with 10-49 lawyers report having experienced a security breach.
  • Almost 30% of respondents said they had a client retain their services directly or via referral because of their use of social networking sites for professional purposes.
  • 77% of lawyers regularly work from home, 33% while traveling, and 20% work from clients’ or opposing counsel’s office or from court.

There has also been a big jump in cloud usage as it becomes an accepted approach in the profession. Some form of cloud usage among respondents grew by over 40% from 37% to over 52% in 2017.

Cloud usage by lawyers 2017 chart over 3 years

The main benefits of cloud cited include easy access from anywhere, robust data back-up, low cost of entry and predictable monthly cost, 24/7 availability, and the ability to get new solutions up and running quickly.

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • 55% of trial lawyers use technology in the courtroom including 33% to access evidence and key documents, up from 28% in 2014.
  • 40% of small firms (2-9 lawyers) do not proactively budget for technology.
  • Roughly 30% of firms use blogging as a marketing technique; larger firms are more likely to have a blog.
  • LinkedIn usage by lawyers has dropped between recent surveys. In 2017, 72% of lawyers report using LinkedIn to maintain a social media presence, whereas in 2016 the reported usage was 85%.
  • 26% of respondents indicate they use or maintain a presence on Twitter.
  • Practice management software remains popular and is used by about 45% of small firms (2-9 lawyers), although this number may include using Outlook to track clients and tasks. Time Matters at 10% and Clio at 8% maintain high market share.

To learn more about the survey and how to obtain copies, visit The year in technology: ABA Techreport 2017.